My sister called me last week to let me know their dog Henry was declining and they would be putting him down sooner than later.
Henry has stayed with us when my sister and brother-in-law have gone on vacation. One time our son had to help Henry down our back stairs. At the ripe old age of fifteen and a half, he has been moving slowly for the past few years. But always moving with love and a sparkle in his eyes.
When I told our kids, our son spoke up with no hesitation, We have to say goodbye – I taught Henry how to walk down stairs – I love him so he can’t die without me saying goodbye.
Wednesday night the kids and I hopped in the car and drove through town, across two bridges, to say good bye to a black lab that touched our hearts deeply with his sweet soul.
Our daughter spoke her gentle words to Henry first, stroking his gray fur, still soft, just now showing more ribs than ever.
Our son, the dog whisperer, had some private time with Henry, expressing his love, honoring this precious life.
I probably wouldn’t have made the drive if our son hadn’t spoken up. I could’ve made up some lame reason not to go, like it’s a school night, blah, blah, blah. But I listened. How wise of these kids to know that life should be honored and celebrated no matter the form that life takes. Pausing in our routines to do this is vital.
We all say goodbye in our own way and each way is perfect.
As we drove back home Wednesday, Wisdom spoke from the back seat, I know Henry will live on, I know his spirit will not die, he will be with us always.